January 12, 2009

My Western Welcome

After an hour-long 5am car haul to the airport, a 30-minute security line, a 30-minute plane de-icing, a 6-hour flight to LA, another hour-long car ride to the Boyfriend’s apartment then back to Long Beach and an hour-long boat ride in darkness I finally (phew) made it to my destination – Catalina Island, CA. 

Stunned and exhausted from all the travel, I found the little port city to be pretty surreal. The landscape was gorgeous – decadent houses and hotels lit up in the hills and brightly colored storefronts dotted the shoreline (I’ll get around to posting some of the pictures we took). Still, after not having seen the Boyfriend since Thanksgiving, I basically wanted to get laid, get a well salted margarita and pass out next to our view of the hills. 

There were slightly limited options for restaurants and nightlife in the off-season, so I perched myself on the side of the bathtub while the Boyfriend brushed his teeth to discuss a little island exploring in search of more options (there were none). Then suddenly it felt like either the bathtub was shaking or I was about to lose my balance and pass out from hunger and fatigue. Then I noticed the towels were sort of shimmying back and forth too. The next morning the news confirmed my suspicion – 8 hours after landing in LA, I felt my first earthquake. So far the West Coast is a whole new world.

January 5, 2009

Counting Down

It’s about two days until I cram everything I own into over-sized bags and haul them across the country. Of course I’m not at all packed or prepared as I’ve spent the time intended for packing and preparing sitting on my ass watching reruns and eating salty snacks. All time well spent. 

October 18, 2008

10 Steps to Guarantee Dirty, Nasty Glares of Disapproval from Fellow Saturday Afternoon Coffee Shop Patrons

1. Take up an entire table with your trendy Macbook, scone and delicious latte. Sharing is overrated. 

2. Go for a two-hour walk along the edge of Manhattan prior to arriving at the coffee shop. Get your heart rate up and work up a sweat – burn calories to earn your latte! Do not change clothes.

3. Be sure your work-out outfit includes a semi-transparent, tight-fitting Hooters T-shirt. From time to time catch a glimpse of your attire in the mirror and chuckle with delight.

4. After not having washed your hair the previous day, decide to skip one more day and rock that au natural look.

5. Similarly forgo showering at all prior to your arrival. Do not use perfume to try to appear fresh and deliciously scented. 

6. Rock out to the new Britney Spears single as you blog away. Let the music bleed out so your fellow latte-sippers can rock out too. Who doesn’t love Britney?

7. Camp out for hours in the comfiest chair. Show no sign of leaving.

8. Dance in your seat a bit to Britney as the caffeine kicks in. Tap your gym sneaker-clad foot against the coffee table as you dance. 

9. Bring gum. Snap it in tune with your Britney and your awesome dancing.

10. Your cell phone will probably ring. At first you won’t notice as “Piece of Me” blares out of your device. When you do notice, answer it and enjoy your phone call. Speak loudly, you wouldn’t want to be rude.

Happy Saturday, everybody!

October 13, 2008

A few months’ notice

I’m no good at being a waitress. There, I admitted it. I don’t care if your food gets to you on time, I don’t care if you like your meal, and I don’t want to chit chat about what my favorite dish is, or gush about my recent celebrity sightings. I do try, but because only 75% of you are going to tip me at all I think it’s only fair I put in a 75% effort. That being said, the following story is not at all related to my sub par efforts but is a direct result of my clumsiness and shit luck.

Last night I had a table of six pretty unremarkable British people. They were polite, dry and boring. The worst I can say about them is they were a little impatient while awaiting their drinks when they could clearly see me running around like crazy taking care of the giant table next to them as well as another couple. It took me a while to bring their bottle of wine, but I can only move so fast when members of the giant table continually pull me over and loudly whisper at me “It’s his birthday!” while dramatically pointing their fingers at the same guy over and over again who acted like he couldn’t hear this repeated exchange. “Got it,” I’d say “Your friend already told me.”

So I finally deliver the over-priced bottle of chilled white wine and as I’m sliding the final glass down I slipped into my bad habit of extending the tray behind me a bit, putting it way out of my range of vision. And who would have guessed? Somebody walking by swung their arm in my direction, tossing the bottle off the tray and sending it tumbling towards the back of this poor boring British woman’s chair where it smashed open and sent a waterfall of chilled wine and flecks of glass down her side and into her shoes.

There is really no way to apologize for this. I was stunned, she was stunned and soaked, and her dining companions were pretty horrified. I just sort of crouched down, picked up the shards of glass with shaking hands and said I was sorry, as if that made it any better. Then I ran away to get a pile of rags and ask my manager to come kiss their asses and offer them free things in exchange for them not murdering me. Next I counted down the minutes until they left and tried my best to pretend to be a great waitress for the rest of their meal.

For the good of the diners of New York City, my days faking it at this shit job are numbered.

October 4, 2008

I’m only going if it’s first class

A helicopter is circling above my apartment making quite a commotion, most likely looking for a  thief or a really successful hooker. If, by some small chance, it’s hovering in an attempt to kidnap me, I’d just like to make a public request for lots of cocktails (fine wine or fruity martinis) and a multitude of snacks (goldfish crackers, fudge stripe cookies, buffalo pretzels). Thank you.

October 2, 2008

Moron on the rocks

I was idling by the entrance of the Pit of Despair awaiting my next table and absentmindedly cracking my neck when a redneck accompanied by a gaggle of his sisters/girlfriends leaned towards me and said, “Be careful not to hurt yourself!” He then chuckled in appreciation of his own joke. I faked a probably not too convincing smile. And of course, the hostess seated them right at my table. 

I went over and introduced myself, to which he responded by pointing his finger at the Hooters t-shirt he was sporting and said, “Nice to meet you, I’m one impatient bastard!” I reprised the fake smile.

“I’ll have a vodka Redbull,” he announced. 

“I’m sorry, we don’t carry Redbull,” I said, with a little too much satisfaction, I’ll admit.

He stared in disbelief.

“AAWWW, you been lookin’ forward to that all day!” sister/girlfriend #1 said. “What do you have instead,” she suggested with a self-satisfied and expectant look on her mug. 

Yes, ma’am, you’ve cracked my city slicker waitress code – I’m hiding a treasure trove of alternative brands of energy drinks just to be difficult. And you’ve cracked the code by asking what I have instead thus outsmarting my cosmopolitan ways.

“Yeah, we actually don’t carry energy drinks. We carry sodas…” (blank stares) “a full bar…” (head scratches) “beer and wine…” (exchanging of sighs of frustration) “coffee and tea…”

At this point I was just watching Miley Cyrus’s latest music video on the big screen and naming whatever liquids popped into my head. They definitely were not listening. It was all on the menu anyways. And they could read, right?

“That expresso, it’s got like a lot of caffeine, right?” the redneck asked.

“Yes, espresso is quite caffeinated.”

“Yeah, gimme one a those. With, what’s it called? Um….uh…. ask yer bartender. Expresso and this stuff called p-pa-parone! Yeah, parone.”

“What’s that?” sister/girlfriend #2 asked.

“Yeah, it’s ok you don’t know what it is. It’s like a real smooth tequila.”

“Patron?” I offered.

“Yeah, that’s what I said. Expresso and parone.”

“Sure thing, that will just take one minute.”

One minute to make. It’ll take about 7 minutes for me to repeat the tale of your idiocy to my friends in the back and  probably another 3 for us to properly enjoy it. 

Bottoms up!

October 1, 2008

Overheard by Tink

Crackhead on the street, in between violent face scratching: “Work that ugly skidmark butt!”

I look around, meet his dry-eyed glare.

Crackhead: “Yeah, you! Ugly skidmark butt!”

 

That’s true. If one of the two of us has an ugly skidmark butt, Mr. Crackhead, it’s me. 

September 30, 2008

I was abducted by Talks-To-Herself-Lady and Serenades-Me-Guard and forced to help them record an album called “Soundtrack of the Office”

Actually I’m just a slightly preoccupied, very overworked, extremely undersexed and slightly lazy asshole, and I’ve been off being a slave to the man instead of blogging. But today, I am back. 

I have once again been intrigued by something in the bathroom at work. Since my first day I’ve noticed the ladies’ room often smells like smoke. I always just figured one of my cigarette addicted coworkers couldn’t sit through their nicotine fit long enough to drag their lazy ass to the elevators and then wait several excruciating minutes for the elevator to arrive while making awkward conversation and avoiding eye contact with the other smokers. I was sort of impressed by the bad ass factor of someone actually lighting up in our high traffic bathroom.

This assumption and the discovery I made shortly after leads me to ask, isn’t reality just a fantasy-stomping little prick?

“It smells like smoke,” I shared with my do-gooder overly friendly, overly happy, overly caffeinated and most likely undersexed cubicle neighbor. And she said “Yeah, that’s me.” At this point I look at the giant crucifix hanging around her neck and noted that the huge dumb grin on her face probably means she was not lighting up next in the stalls next to any number of our execs. I looked at her quizzically.

“I light matches after I go number 2, so other people don’t have to smell it!” Her grin widened. I could see she was trying to be thoughtful, and was fishing for some sort of pat on the back. “Oh!” I said, trying to look grateful/impressed/the opposite of disappointed and horrified. She walked away, humming a church hymn and seeming quite pleased with herself.

I hold her personally responsible for the fact that for the rest of my life the smell of burned matches will conjure a pretty foul visual. Thanks for sharing, Church Lady! 

July 17, 2008

Talks-To-Herself-Lady continues to haunt my every working moment

I should feel bad. I know, I KNOW I should feel bad and only bad for my elderly, needy, slightly insane coworker who talks to herself. And while part of me feels all the compassion I should, there’s a sliver of me that just feels annoyed all. day. long. And that sliver is about to snap.

Today while I was typing away at an Excel spreadsheet, I learned that Talks-To-Herself-Lady was in the mood to cook. Not because she told me, oh no. Because she told everyone: the air, her computer screen, the windows. “I want to cook!” And then for ten minutes I sat in my chair and contemplated what could possess someone to make that announcement to no one in particular while at their desk. I spend many ten minute blocks each day pondering this. There are other forms of wasting time and procrastinating at work that are  far more interesting, and yet I’m stuck having interior monologue with Talks-To-Herself-Lady’s exterior monologue. Because I have no choice

To get away from this one woman show I sometimes slip downstairs for a green tea or a snack, basically anything just to get a few moments of peace. This desire is squashed several times a week if Often-Serenades-Me-Security-Guard is manning the front desk. Our elevators take absolutely forever to come, and while I’m waiting, waiting, waiting, trapped in the hallway with this gigantic, slick-haired fellow, I often wonder if I wasn’t better off just staying put at my desk.

Today it was Frank Sinatra, but no song in particular. In fact, I think it may have been all of his songs mashed together in some sort of side show medley. Luckily I didn’t get to hear the grande finale as the elevator arrived with a ding and I scurried in. There really isn’t a moment of solitude in Manhattan. 

June 27, 2008

Just like a free show

“One advantage of talking to yourself is that you know at least somebody’s listening.” -Franklin P. Jones

I sit in front of a very sweet, very caring very elderly secretary at my office. And everyday I consider sending her flowers, candy or a card as a thank you for the entertainment she provides me with throughout my monotonous day by spinning endless monologue into the dry air conditioned atmosphere of my dull, run-of-the-mill place of work. I’ll call her Sally. Things tumble out of Sally’s mouth and bounce off her computer screen with a force that makes any listener understand she just had to say them, audience be damned!

Often I hear “Oh, phooey,” “rats,” or “darn!” But sometimes Sally delights me and those surrounding me with a more in depth narrative, such as running commentary as to whether she did or did not lose a particular document. Fascinating. She politely gives me status updates on how her tasks are going. “That’s not right,” or “Good job!” So considerate.

Sally also makes phone calls. The time which Sally dedicates to each phone call is what really impresses me- she really drives her point home, and for that I give her credit. We have an instant coffee machine in our kitchen which dispenses a hot liquid at best described as tolerable and somewhat reminiscent of actual coffee. Sally drinks a decaf cup-o-crap once a day, every day, because that’s just how things are. And when the decaf runs out, a sly smile spread over her thin lips as she aims her pointy finger at the office phone to call the person in charge of this machine and let him know. This takes about five solid minutes. 

“Hello, this is Sally. I’m calling to report a problem with the coffee machine.”

“No, the machine is working. The problem is that there is no more decaf. And, you see, that’s a problem because decaf is what I drink.”

“Yes, my advice would be that you replace it as soon as is convenient for you. Because the decaf, it’s out.”

“Please know I realize I will have to wait. I’m prepared to do so. I just wanted to let you know that there is no more decaf. And that’s what I drink. I’m at extension 555. Please call me with any updates. On the decaf, my drink of choice.”

“If it had to wait until tomorrow, of course I would understand, but it would pose a bit of a problem. As then I would not have access to a cup of decaf, which I have not had yet today.”

“Yes, thank you, 555.”

I feel like I should be paying a cover.